The glass artist installed a Glass Pumpkin Show in the fields around his Laurelville, Ohio, studio, and drew 5,000 guests, selling out all of the pumpkins he had crafted for the event.
The Glass Pumpkin Show is back for a second round Sept. 24 to 26.
“Last year we did it later in the year, to replace the Circleville Pumpkin Show,” said Pine, 56, speaking by phone from his Laurelville studio.
This year, he will be back exhibiting and selling at the Circleville show, and he didn't want to compete with that.
“And we thought that it would be good to do it earlier, because people would then have their decorations for the fall,” he said.
'Pumpkin-of-the-year' among glass gourds at Ohio event
More than 2,000 hand-blown glass pumpkins will be for sale in the “pumpkin patch” on the studio's multi-acre site.
Among them will be the popular “pumpkin-of-the-year.”
“We've done a 'pumpkin-of-the-year' every year for the past 20 years, and it's really taken off the last 10 years or so. They have become a major collector item. We sell about 2,000 of them every season,” Pine said.
“Last year, it was a black pumpkin with a very black stem and a silver lining, to represent the very dark year that we had. This year, I decided to reverse it, so I did a white pumpkin with rainbow colors at the bottom of it.”
This year, Pine is donating 10% of the proceeds from the sales of the pumpkin-of-the-year to “Feed the Second Line,” a charity dedicated to helping artists and musicians affected by Hurricane Ida.
Glassblowing demonstrations, food, music also featured
In addition to browsing the pumpkins, visitors to the festival can watch glassblowers craft them. Pumpkin carver Gus Smithister will be on hand to carve a 600-pound pumpkin over the weekend, and those who would like the buy actual vegetables will have plenty to choose from in a patch supplied by a local grower.
Pumpkin rolls, ice cream and other food will be available, and live music will be playing through the festival, with acts including the Poverty String Band Trio and Frank Grasso.
Ten other artists will have work on sale, including Starfish Earth Clothing with clothes, bags and accessories; Colonial Wagon Wheel's metal art; Poff Studio's copper sculpture; and Ed Kitchen's watercolors.
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Tarlton native Jack Pine 'fell madly in love' with glass in Seattle
Pine grew up in nearby Tarlton, and then went to college at the Columbus College of Art & Design. From there, he moved to Seattle, and started working at a glass studio.
“I fell madly in love with the whole thing,” he said.
He moved to Colorado, where he set up a studio and lived for 17 years, and then, in 2006, moved to Columbus and had a studio in the Short North.
Five years ago, he found an old farm in Laurelville and set up a studio, where he now employs a crew of 14, including five skilled glassblowers.
“I always wanted to move down to the Hocking Hills, because this area is perfect for a studio. We've got wide-open spaces. I started a gallery selling my work and the work of other artists I know, and now we have over 30 different local artists,” he said.
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Pine's Laurelville studio open year-round
The studio is open year-round, with glassblowing demonstrations offered daily, so those who can't make it to the festival can still check it out.
"He can take something as simple as a pumpkin and make it look totally unique," said Hayley Deeter, who owns Hayley Gallery in New Albany, where Pine's work has been shown during the past year.
"The pumpkins look like they've been painted, but he doesn't use any paint. He uses metal to add dimension to the glass. A lot of people make glass pumpkins, but when you have one of his in the gallery, people say, Oh, that's a Jack Pine. His are just different. They're real works of art, but they're also affordable."
Adam Henry has been working as a glassblower at the Laurelville studio for two years.
"He's a visionary artist," Henry said of Pine. "His color technique is what really stands out for me. Most glassblowers focus on shape, and color is secondary to them. But he's spent 30 years developing a color palette."
For Pine, the works of art are a labor of love.
“Glass pumpkins are just whimsical and magical,” he said. “I'd venture to say that I've made well over a million glass pumpkins in my life. I still really enjoy what I do, and I love giving back to this community. It's a win-win.”
At a glance
The Glass Pumpkin Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 24-26 at 21397 Ohio Route 180, Laurelville. Reserved timed parking tickets, which are recommended, are available online for $5 per car. Only 75 guests will be admitted for each two-hour time slot. The $5 fee for the timed tickets will be deducted from the purchase price of any glass pumpkin. The festival will also have a non-reserved parking lot, with spaces as available. The fee for that is $5, which cannot be used toward the purchase of a pumpkin. Aside from the parking fee, admission to the festival is free. For more information, call 740-332-2223 or visit glasspumpkinfestival.com